Reflection: Soul Pancake & Spreadability

Reflection: Soul Pancake & Spreadability

Creating the first episode of Media Nouveau was both a privilege and a hindrance. Christine and I sought to follow the format designed by the class in Soul Pancake & Spreadability, but we found it difficult to devise a question that could have two starkly distinct answers based on our observations of Soul Pancake. We decided to ask an open-ended question that allows for different answers. We then used the terms and concepts discussed in class to further explore the issue in both complimentary and critical lights, before finally drawing a conclusion about whether companies’ increasing propensity towards spreadability is a positive change overall. In other words, we manipulated the format to accommodate what we found to be the most interesting analysis of Soul Pancake, which allows for diverse interpretations of the format in future episodes.

Last semester’s section of New Media Writing also created an episode about Soul Pancake entitled Pancakes for the Soul. They touched upon several interesting ideas such as that of participatory culture which we had also deemed important; however, we felt that their analysis could have delved deeper and we hoped to contribute to their understanding of Soul Pancake in the context of New Media specifically using Jenkins’ concept of spreadability. We also wanted to execute a conversational tone similar to that of their episode.

I am doubtful that we achieved the conversational tone to which we aspired. Christine and I initially assembled a loose outline of our main points, intending to use it as a rough guide while still letting the discussion flow naturally. Bullet points, however, did not readily translate into full sentences in our heads and we often ended up rambling and skipping around the outline in an incomprehensible fashion. We decided that a complete script might be easier to work with, which better facilitated the inclusion of the in-depth analysis that we hoped to achieve. Nevertheless, I believe that we sacrificed the relaxed tone and I fear that we produced a less-interesting product for the listener.

Producing our episode was an immensely collaborative process, emphasized as a learning outcome in the syllabus. Christine and I met several times over the course of two weeks, brainstorming several analytical tools before finally narrowing down the most interesting and salient points among them. When our opinions differed, we listened to each other’s point of view and usually agreed on a conclusion, but I tried to make sure that Christine’s vision was fulfilled since she was the producer of the episode. Once our main points were chosen, Dami, our line producer, helped us to format our ideas into a 10-15 minute podcast in a clear, engaging way.

This process has brought several challenges associated with generating a podcast episode to my attention and donned me with collaborative and problem-solving skills which will be useful in the creation of our next episode of Media Nouveau.

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